Angry Ingoldmells residents who fear their much-loved local could be lost along with an irreplaceable piece of the village’s heritage have criticised the parish council’s role in the process.
Bernard Wise, who raised his concerns about the future of the Three Tuns in this week’s Standard, was fighting its corner again at Ingoldmells Parish Council‘s Annual General Meeting last night.
The pub campaigner quizzed councillors on their decision to support an application for the historic building to be converted into houses, which he fears could see his beloved drinking spot closed for good.
“The councillors who have voted to have this passed should hang their head in shame - how can councillors vote for this? I’m disgusted,” he said.
Another public member present at the meeting rallied behind Bernard’s cause, echoing his condemnation.
“That’s a horrible decision, I’m deeply hurt that you had the gall to vote in favour of closing it,” he said,
Parish chairman Coun John Arnott-Watson told Bernard that he too would like to see the pub retained, but explained that the council must restrict itself to material planing considerations on such matters.
“Emotive facts like ‘it’s the best pub in the village’ or ‘it’s the heart of the village’ are not things that councils take into consideration,” he said.
Parish clerk Mike Allen advised the public present that their best option for retaining the pub, was to ask their district councillor Coun Graham Archer to ‘call in’ the application so it could be discussed at a committee rather than decided by officers.
Coun Archer was unable to attend the meeting, leading one resident to brand him as ‘useless as an ashtray on a motorcycle’, however he has since met with the concerned residents and agreed to call it in for the committee.
Speaking after the meeting he said: “I always support my residents with what they ask me to do and I’ve already made some enquiries on their behalf.”
He also accounted for his absence from the meeting, which he says was due to ‘other commitments’.
Lincolnshire County Council’s ward representative Colin Davie said he hoped the pub would be retained and suggested the residents apply pressure to the planning authorities or Bateman’s, its owners, to demonstrate the desire for it to stay.
“Think how everyone can work together to give this pub a new lease of life so that the current owners can stay with it or a new branch manager can take it over,” he said.
Bateman’s said last week that it had no immediate intention to start work, even if granted permission.